Flavored coffee beans might be something that you’ve bought before, but you may not have considered flavoring your own coffee beans. If you enjoy brewing your own coffee at home but are finding that things are getting a little bit boring or even stale, then adding some flavor to your coffee beans can be a great way to change things up and bring out some new notes in your coffee without having to buy a ton of different roast options.
If, like most people, you didn’t even know that you could flavor your own coffee beans at home, then don’t worry – this guide is here to help. You probably already know that flavoring coffee beans is possible since you might have bought flavored coffee beans in the past, but what you might not know is just how easy it can be to make flavored coffee beans at home. Keep reading to learn more about how to create the best flavored coffee no matter what kind of taste you’re into.
Spices are an easy way to add flavor to your coffee beans. You can add any spice that you like to create any kind of flavor that you want. Cinnamon is a popular option; all you need to do if you want to know how to infuse coffee with cinnamon is add the spice to your beans, seal them up tightly, and leave them to infuse for at least an hour. Remember that the longer you leave them, the richer the taste will be. You don’t have to use cinnamon; you can experiment with any spice that you like.
Using spices can be exciting because you can go for any spice palate that you enjoy. Cinnamon is a great option for playing it safe, or you can use nutmeg, clove, and many other options. You can even try a different combination of spices and experiment until you get a taste that you like. You can use either ground spices or the whole spice; either will work just as well.
If you like coffee and alcohol, then this is going to be a flavoring you’ll enjoy. You can easily infuse your coffee beans with alcohol by placing your desired amount of coffee beans into a sealable container before adding liquor, beer, or any alcohol that you want the coffee to be infused with. You’ll need to wait around one day for the beans to be ready, or wait even longer for a richer, bolder flavor. Once they’re ready, strain them and allow them to dry before grinding for the best flavored ground coffee.
Whiskey is a popular choice of alcohol for adding to coffee beans, and the best part is that when you use something like Bourbon, you will only need to let the beans sit for a few hours before you’ll get the desired taste, unless you want it even stronger. But any alcohol you like can work well, so feel free to experiment with rum, port, or even vodka to infuse your coffee beans if you like.
You can simply add any kind of oil you like to as many beans as you like. Shake it up until the beans are fully coated with the oil, and then let them sit for at least an hour in a sealed container. Once you’ve waited for the desired length of time, you’ll need to let the beans dry out before you start grinding them.
When it comes to choosing which oils to use, don’t use regular household oils. The good news is that you can get coffee bean oil in plenty of places, including online stores like Amazon. You can also find a range of coffee bean syrups that you can use as an alternative, whether like rich chocolate, sweet vanilla, or even crisp mint.
Choosing the Right Beans to Flavor
Before you jump straight into adding some flavor to your coffee beans, it’s important to note that you will need to get good quality beans to get the best results. Arabica beans are without a doubt the best choice, since they will hold the flavor better compared to Robusta beans. It’s always worth investing in better quality coffee beans as the cheaper ones are unlikely to get you the best flavor no matter what you add to them.
How Much to Add to the Beans
Getting the measurements right when flavoring your coffee beans is important; don’t just throw a random amount into a container with your beans and hope for the best. How much you will use will depend on whether you are roasting the beans yourself or adding to store-bought beans. If you’re roasting the beans yourself, then you should add the flavoring when the beans are still warm for the best results. However, since most people are likely to be adding flavoring to store-bought beans, you’ll usually need to add a little more. As a general rule, add around 3% of whatever the weight of the beans is. Of course, you can vary this depending on how strong you want your flavor to be. Less is more; however, keep it at 3% or less since adding more will only take away from the flavor of the coffee and overpower it.
What You Need to Know About Coffee Flavoring Oils
Coffee bean flavoring oils are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to add a different flavor to your coffee beans at home. Oils for flavoring coffee beans are created using a combination of synthetic or natural oils and agents. Flavoring oils are often made using naturally occurring ingredients found in raw materials such as spices, cocoa beans, nuts, and vanilla. However, synthetic flavorings can also be used to create a wide range of different flavors. They are blended together to get specific flavors, and diluted in solvents such as propylene glycol, water and sometimes, alcohol.
Using Flavor Oils with Coffee Beans
If you want to use a coffee bean flavor oil, you can usually buy these easily and they will come with instructions included to make sure that you get the perfect flavor every time. Generally speaking, you should add around 2-3%, which translates to around 3lbs of oil for every 100lbs of coffee beans. The flavor oils are typically added after the coffee bean roasting process. In a commercial setting, a pressurized spray system to evenly douse the coffee beans with flavor oil will be used to do this; however, you’re unlikely to need anything like this at home for a smaller amount of beans. Then, the beans are lightly tossed to ensure that the flavor oils are distributed evenly across the beans. The beans should be immediately packaged to ensure that their freshness is retained.
Coffee Bean Flavor Oil Options
Technological advancements today mean that you can find any flavor you like when it comes to flavored coffee beans. These come in four main categories of chocolate-based, nut-based, spice-based, and fruit-based. Sometimes, they are mixed together to achieve different and interesting flavors like banana nut coffee, for example. Some popular coffee bean flavoring options are:
- Irish Cream
- Pumpkin Spice
- Crème Brûlée
Buying Flavored Coffee Beans
While it’s certainly easier than you think to flavor your own coffee beans at home using spices, oils, or alcohol, you can also take the option of buying pre-flavored coffee beans if you want a more convenient option that’s ready to use immediately. You can buy these directly from roasters, specialty coffee shops, cafes, and online stores. If you’re planning on buying flavored coffee beans instead, keep the following in mind:
Quality: Sadly, syrups and oils are often used to add flavor to disguise an otherwise low-quality bean. Take the time to research the quality of the coffee beans that you want to purchase and make sure that the producer you’re buying from has a good reputation for quality.
Type: Always choose Arabica beans, since they are generally much better to flavor compared to Robusta beans, which do not hold the flavor very well.
Price: Flavored coffee beans shouldn’t be cheaper than regular, unflavored coffee beans. If a price seems too good to be true, it usually is – a low price often means that the beans have not been sourced ethically. While it’s important not to get beans that cost you a fortune, you shouldn’t always go for the cheapest option.
Easiest Ways to Add Flavor to Coffee
If you are pressed for time or want to add some flavor to your coffee without going through the process of flavoring the coffee beans themselves, the good news is that there are several different ways to add some flavor to your coffee quickly and easily. Some popular options include:
Cinnamon: Add a cinnamon stick while brewing to extract the flavor.
Vanilla extract: Simply add a couple of drops to your coffee during the brewing process for a sweeter flavor.
Cardamom: Add a pinch of cardamom into a cup of your freshly brewed coffee.
Peppermint Oil: Simply add a couple of drops to the coffee while brewing.
If you are growing tired of drinking plain coffee, adding some flavor to your coffee beans can be easier than you realize with lots of different flavoring options available.